A refrigerator at the front of the store carries lots of fresh foods, including a number of types of chorizo sausage, cheeses, fresh tortillas, fruit drinks in flavors such as mango and guava, and more.
El Chavo sells fresh produce that often can't be found in U.S. food stores, such as green tomatillos, chiles poblanos, jicama and nopales, as well as more standard offerings such as jalapenos and avocados.
Two nearby racks ensure that your homemade Mexican dishes will be well spiced and, if you can handle it, muy picante.
"Most of the chiles we have, you don't find in stores," Rodríguez said, pointing out the serrano, pasilla, mulatto and ancho varieties. Then, there's a rack of spices, with exotic sounding names such as hoja aguacate, hoja santa and epazote, which is typically mixed into beans or other grains to add flavor, Rodriguez said. For those putting together a Mexican meal on the fly, there are pre-prepared jars of mole sauce — traditional, verde and rojo — salsas, beans, rice, cornhusks for those looking to prepare tamales, and corn tostadas shells, which are fried and topped in order to make something like an open-faced Mexican sandwich. What Mexican meal is complete without dessert? To make sure patrons end their meals right — or simply have some familiar candies to turn to when sugar cravings hit — El Chavo has tres leches cake, flan, snack cakes, barritas de piña (pineapple-filled fruit bars), paletas (lollipops) resembling ears of corn or made of chocolate-covered marshmallows, and much, much more. All come in bright, cheerful wrappers sure to bring back memories of youth.